>Are You as Healthy as You Would Like to Be?
Everyone wants to stay healthy throughout their lives. The best authority on longevity seems to be the thoughts from India such as Dr. Chopra, and medical doctors such as Dr. Andrew Weil.
Here are some thoughts from Dr. Weil about keeping the inflammation at bay as you age.
There is much thought that disease processes, especially diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease are caused in part by the body’s inflammatory response.
Our bodies react to pain in general through a inflammatory response, that is good when we have a bruise or any simple injury, but when the body inflammatory response is too much- and without an apparent reason, we can contract diseases that are called autoimmune such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Alzheimer’s disease also begins as an inflammation of the brain.
The damage to the organs produces an inflammatory response which in inappropriate. The body attacks itself.
The following are some tips from Dr. Weil on his diet that can slow down this inflammation, or even prevent it from occurring. So, the sooner you start on a better diet, the better your health will be through the years!
Aim for variety in your diet. Do not eat the same things day after day
Include as much fresh whole foods as possible. Eat an abundance of fruit, veggies!
Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food
Most adult need about 2000 calories a day ( women) and 3000 (men) — Active individuals.
The distribution of calories should be 40-50% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 20-30% protein.
(Remember- carbs are your fruits and veggies and also your breads, pasta, grains and fiber)
They should be in the form of less refined, with low glycemic loads.
Reduce your amount of packaged snack foods such as pretzels, potato chips
Eat more grains, beans, squash, sweet potatoes
Eat your pasta al dente, and eat it in moderation
Avoid all products made with high-fructose-corn syrup
Reduce your intake of saturated fat by eating less butter, cream cheese, cheese and other full-fat dairy products, unskinned chicken, fatty meats and products made with coconut and palm kernel oils.
Use extra virgin olive oil as your main cooking oil. If you want a neutral tasting oil, use expeller-pressed, organic canola oil.
Avoid corn oil, mixed vegetable oils, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils
Strictly avoid margarine, vegetable shortening, and all products listing them.
Strictly avoid all products made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind
Include in your diet: avocados, nuts- especially walnuts, cashew and almonds, and nut butters made from them
For OMEGA -3 FATTY ACIDS: Eat salmon, preferably fresh or frozen wild or canned sockeye, sardines packed in water or olive oil, herring, black cod ( butterfish, sablefish), omega-3 fortified eggs, hemp seeds, flaxseeds ( preferably fresh ground), and walnuts, or take a fish oil supplement.
Protein Decrease your consumption of animal protein except for fish and reduced fat dairy products
Eat more vegetable protein, especially from beans in general and soybeans in particular. Become familiar with the range of soy foods available.
Increase your consumption of fruits, especially berries, vegetables ( especially beans) and whole grains
Ready to eat cereal can be good fiber sources, but read labels and make sure it has at least 4-5 grams of bran per ounce
Choose fruits and veggies from all parts of the color spectrum, especially berries, tomatoes, orange and yellow fruits and dark leafy vegetables
Choose organic products whenever possible.
Eat calciferous ( cabbage family) vegetables regularly
Include soy in your diet
Drink tea instead of coffee, especially good -quality white, green or oolong tea
If you drink alcohol, use red wine
Enjoy dark chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 70 %. Eat in moderation
Vitamins and Minerals
The best way to get all the vitamins and minerals into your diet is through eating a diet high in fresh foods, with an abundance of fruits and veggies.
In addition, supplement your diet daily with:
Vitamin C 200 mg
Vitamin E 400 IU Day
Selenium 120 micrograms (yeast -bound form)
Mixed carotenoids 10,000-15,000 IU day
A daily multivitamin that provides 400 micrograms of folic acid and 1,000 IU of Vitamin D
The vitamin should contain no iron and no preformed Vitamin A ( retinol)
Supplemental Calcium, especially for women of 500-700 mg/day, preferably a calcium citrate. Men should get 700 mg/day
Other dietary Supplements
If you do not eat fatty fish 2 times a week- take fish oil. 1-2 grams /day
Look for molecularly distilled products certified to be free of heavy metals and other contaminants
Talk to your MD about going on 81-162 mg of baby aspirin/day
Herbs: eat ginger and turmeric every day or take in supplements
Add Co-Q-10 to your day. 60-100 mg in a soft gel, taken with largest meal
If you are prone to metabolic syndrome take alpha-lipoic acid 100-400mg/day
Drink 6-8 glasses of pure water/day or drinks that are primarily water such as tea, diluted fruit juices, sparkling water with lemon
Use bottled water or get a home purifier on your tap
Dr. Weil Website: www.healthy aging.com
Taken in part from: Weil, A. ( 2005). Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide To Your Well-Being. New York, NY. Anchor Books